THE ENDEMIC CANID CYNOTHERIUM (MAMMALIA, CARNIVORA) FROM THE PLEISTOCENE DEPOSITS OF MONTE TUTTAVISTA (NUORO, EASTERN SARDINIA)
This paper presents the main results related to the analysis of fossils of the endemic Sardinian canid Cynotherium, discovered during the past years within the rich fossiliferous karst deposits in the Monte Tuttavista area (Eastern Sardinia, Nuoro).
The analysis indicates that the remains from various fissure infillings differ in size and dental characters, which are suggestive of evolutionary phases under endemic conditions. The chronological sequencing of fissures obtained based on the evolutionary stage of the fossil canid is consistent with that emerging from the analysis of the whole mammal assemblages occurring in the same fissures. The possible evolutionary relationships of the Sardinian canid to the Plio-Pleistocene mainland species are also considered; a derivation from a population of late Canis arnensis (or Canis mosbachensis) population is supported.
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